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Co-habiting but not married - finances

(187 Posts)
flowersrain Sat 24-Oct-20 01:37:57

Just wondering people's thoughts on this.

My boyfriend and I don't yet live together but I'm wondering how it would be fair to split finances when we do. Eventually I will probably rent out my house (I have a very small mortgage) and move in with him as his house is bigger. Neither of us has children.

He is a very high earner - works in private equity - but has more expenses than me: a bigger mortgage etc. I am a pretty low earner and only earn around £26k. If I were to move in with him would it be fair to split bills 50-50? I see differing views about this. If we were married with children I think I would expect it to be more proportionate to our earnings but in this case would 50-50 still be fair? Even though I am a relatively low earner I don't think splitting the bills in this way would be unfair/leave me destitute? Or am I being a doormat?

At the moment he will occasionally treat me to lunch or dinner out (usually when he's in my bad books haha) but if we go for drinks or whatever we take it in turns to pay. We don't keep a tally of what we spend/whose turn it is to pay when we're out and about or if we're on holiday but it generally evens out eg I buy train tickets, he pays for lunch so it's pretty equal.

Thoughts?

Any thoughts?

OP’s posts: |
RantyAnty Sat 24-Oct-20 01:43:06

What is his income?

fallfallfall Sat 24-Oct-20 01:44:09

Proportionate to your incomes. If you earn 1/3 compared to his wage then you pay 1/3 of expenses. His lifestyle is likely to match his income. So you would potentially be paying in your entire salary plus.
Sounds like a legal agreement might be useful.

flowersrain Sat 24-Oct-20 01:45:26

RantyAnty

What is his income?

I don't actually know but in excess of £100K.

OP’s posts: |
flowersrain Sat 24-Oct-20 01:46:40

fallfallfall

Proportionate to your incomes. If you earn 1/3 compared to his wage then you pay 1/3 of expenses. His lifestyle is likely to match his income. So you would potentially be paying in your entire salary plus.
Sounds like a legal agreement might be useful.

His lifestyle is actually very frugal! And sometimes he doesn't have a lot of cashflow because of money tied up in savings accounts etc

Would we need a legal agreement just as boyfriend and girlfriend? It seems a bit extreme?

OP’s posts: |
SBTLove Sat 24-Oct-20 01:48:33

He sounds a bit tight tbf, high earner but rarely treats you.
Do not contribute to his mortgage, bills should be split proportionately to earnings.

flowersrain Sat 24-Oct-20 01:48:39

fallfallfall

Proportionate to your incomes. If you earn 1/3 compared to his wage then you pay 1/3 of expenses. His lifestyle is likely to match his income. So you would potentially be paying in your entire salary plus.
Sounds like a legal agreement might be useful.

And we would only be sharing household bills if we lived together - ie gas, water, electric, internet - surely that wouldn't be my whole salary?

OP’s posts: |
flowersrain Sat 24-Oct-20 01:49:40

SBTLove

He sounds a bit tight tbf, high earner but rarely treats you.
Do not contribute to his mortgage, bills should be split proportionately to earnings.

Yeah he is tight or 'careful' but it's not to do with me - he doesn't exactly splash the cash on himself either. I don't mind that though because I think it's important to be sensible with money.

OP’s posts: |
VodselForDinner Sat 24-Oct-20 01:51:38

He’d be crazy to let you contribute towards his mortgage, or any capital investment on the property.

Given you’ll be trying out your house and presumably making a profit given your low mortgage, you should be in a position to contribute towards bills.

Whatever you both decide, makes sure to agree a figure and not just a percentage. Agreeing to pay 50% of everything is fine, but if his salary is much higher than yours, you might find that what he classes as a shared bill for random months may mean you’re left short.

SBTLove Sat 24-Oct-20 01:52:32

There’s being careful and there’s being miserable, he earns well but has little cash flow so is likely saving it all, yes it’s good to have savings but not to the point that you are living a mean little life.
Life with a tight fist is miserable.
If you had kids, got married he’s likely be asking for you to account for every penny.

fallfallfall Sat 24-Oct-20 01:53:02

So no plans to pay into the mortgage? Make furniture purchases or paint.
You believe he’s living on 26K and saving 74K.

RantyAnty Sat 24-Oct-20 01:54:38

He does sound a bit cheap.

What is the outcome you want from this relationship? Ages? Time you've been together?

flowersrain Sat 24-Oct-20 01:55:15

VodselForDinner

He’d be crazy to let you contribute towards his mortgage, or any capital investment on the property.

Given you’ll be trying out your house and presumably making a profit given your low mortgage, you should be in a position to contribute towards bills.

Whatever you both decide, makes sure to agree a figure and not just a percentage. Agreeing to pay 50% of everything is fine, but if his salary is much higher than yours, you might find that what he classes as a shared bill for random months may mean you’re left short.

I don't want to be contributing to his mortgage, I'll still have my own to pay!

That's a good point about the random months.

I don't even know why I'm worrying about this to be honest. It's just late and one of those things I've got in my head, you know? I've been looking for new jobs recently and I think the fact that I am on such a low salary is making me feel a bit insecure.

OP’s posts: |
flowersrain Sat 24-Oct-20 01:57:24

SBTLove

There’s being careful and there’s being miserable, he earns well but has little cash flow so is likely saving it all, yes it’s good to have savings but not to the point that you are living a mean little life.
Life with a tight fist is miserable.
If you had kids, got married he’s likely be asking for you to account for every penny.

He doesn't live with a tight fist but we both have the same attitude towards finances. We enjoy ourselves but we don't go mad. He buys me expensive gifts at birthdays and Christmas, doesn't begrudge me another drink at the pub or anything like that - he's not that bad! He doesn't ask me to account for every penny now so why would he be like that in the future?

OP’s posts: |
flowersrain Sat 24-Oct-20 01:58:12

fallfallfall

So no plans to pay into the mortgage? Make furniture purchases or paint.
You believe he’s living on 26K and saving 74K.

I don't know the ins and outs of his finances but he does get taxed very highly so those numbers aren't exactly accurate

OP’s posts: |
flowersrain Sat 24-Oct-20 02:00:46

RantyAnty

He does sound a bit cheap.

What is the outcome you want from this relationship? Ages? Time you've been together?

He's cheap, but it has served him well - he bought his own flat at 22 and at the age of 31 bought a 4 bedroom house on his own, no help from parents or family.

We have been together just over 18 months, I am 30 and he is 32. We have spoken about settling down together and we are slowly working towards that, with the emphasis on slowly. I know many people will say after 18 months if you're not already moved in it's not going anywhere but this works for us right now.

OP’s posts: |
RantyAnty Sat 24-Oct-20 02:07:39

OK. If you want marriage and children with him, don't move in.

Think about who is wanting you to move in and why. How does moving in benefit him? How does moving in benefit you?

Good you're asking about this now on here, giving yourself the time to think about things.

flowersrain Sat 24-Oct-20 02:10:34

RantyAnty

OK. If you want marriage and children with him, don't move in.

Think about who is wanting you to move in and why. How does moving in benefit him? How does moving in benefit you?

Good you're asking about this now on here, giving yourself the time to think about things.

Moving in would be so that we can build a future together when the time is right. What do you think the answers to your questions are/could be?

OP’s posts: |
BitOfFun Sat 24-Oct-20 02:11:59

If I were to move in with him would it be fair to split bills 50-50? I see differing views about this. If we were married with children I think I would expect it to be more proportionate to our earnings...

If you were married, I'd expect your finances to be joint, and for you to be equal partners financially, regardless of your earnings.

SBTLove Sat 24-Oct-20 02:12:00

He doesn't ask me to account for every penny now so why would he be like that in the future?
He's cheap
Oh dear, you sound a bit naive.
Have a look at any one of the countless threads on here from women who married a lovely man then on came the shackles; given an allowance for her and the kids whilst he sits on £10,000s and she has no decent shoes and can’t have take the kids out for the day.
Cheap is not attractive.

BitOfFun Sat 24-Oct-20 02:13:43

I think that RantyAnty is implying that it is not in your interests to move in together before marriage. I tend to agree.

flowersrain Sat 24-Oct-20 02:14:53

I suppose I really need to have this conversation with him rather than staying up all night worrying about it. I suppose I'm a bit embarrassed that I earn so little.

It seems a bit premature to bring it up now as we aren't ready to live together yet but I think I need to have the conversation to ease my mind.

OP’s posts: |
flowersrain Sat 24-Oct-20 02:16:23

BitOfFun

I think that RantyAnty is implying that it is not in your interests to move in together before marriage. I tend to agree.

I don't actually think there would be much need for us to move in together before marriage. As we own our own properties we are happy visiting each other at weekends/during the week. I imagine that eventually we will be spending half the week at mine and half the week at his.

OP’s posts: |
flowersrain Sat 24-Oct-20 02:19:17

SBTLove

*He doesn't ask me to account for every penny now so why would he be like that in the future?*
He's cheap
Oh dear, you sound a bit naive.
Have a look at any one of the countless threads on here from women who married a lovely man then on came the shackles; given an allowance for her and the kids whilst he sits on £10,000s and she has no decent shoes and can’t have take the kids out for the day.
Cheap is not attractive.

But contributing to 50% of bills would still leave me with money of my own.

He is very big on a man being the provider for the family. Some of his friends have babies and he often speaks of how they should be working harder, aiming higher to provide for the family. He has a lot of respect for my dad who worked insanely hard as a lawyer (my mum was a nurse) to give myself and my brother a privileged childhood. So from his comments about this I'm not sure he'd follow the pattern you describe.

OP’s posts: |
SBTLove Sat 24-Oct-20 02:25:01

If he’s earning x4 to you why would you pay 50/50? It should be say 25/75, if you pay 50/50 he will always have significantly more disposable income and be able to enjoy different things from you.
Do you think the women I mentioned married them because he said I’ll keep you in poverty? Of course they didn’t, if you can see he is cheap just now he will
probably get worse when he has two incomes he can hoard/control.
Personally I’d never be with someone who is tight fisted.

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